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U.S. Military Official Barred From Leaving Pakistan After His S.U.V. Kills Man

U.S. Military Official Barred From Leaving Pakistan After His S.U.V. Kills Man


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Protesters staged a rally demanding a trial for the American diplomat involved in a vehicle crash that killed a person in Islamabad this month.

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B.K. Bangash/Associated Press

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — An American military attaché has been barred from leaving Pakistan after his sport utility vehicle struck a motorcycle and killed one of its riders this month, in another flare-up of diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

Pakistani officials have demanded that the United States waive diplomatic immunity for the attaché, Col. Joseph E. Hall, so that he can face criminal trial, but American officials have refused, according to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry. Pakistani officials said that Colonel Hall does, however, face a civil suit from the family of the killed man, Ateeq Baig, and that on Tuesday he was barred from leaving the country.

Video of Colonel Hall’s truck running a red light as it struck the motorcycle, killing Mr. Baig and seriously injuring the other rider on April 7, has gone viral in Pakistan. The outrage it is causing has resonated in a way similar to the case of the American C.I.A. security officer Raymond A. Davis, who in 2011 shot and killed two armed men in Lahore, leading to a serious and lasting fallout between the United States and Pakistan.

In Islamabad, Colonel Hall was briefly detained by the police after the crash, but was later released because of his immunity, Pakistani police officials said.

The American ambassador, David Hale, was called to the Foreign Ministry over the incident, and later expressed sadness over it. An embassy spokesman, Richard Snelsire, said, “At this stage we are fully cooperating with the local police and authorities who are investigating the case.”



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